GESTALT ART THERAPY CENTRE Training, Workshops, Therapy Sessions & Supervision in Brisbane Australia
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Workshops Agenda

2011 SAND PLAY.12th NOVEMBER 2011

The client is given the possibility, by means of figures and the arrangement of the sand in the area bounded by the sandbox, to set up a world corresponding to his or her inner state.

12th NOVEMBER 2011


Basic information:

Sandplay therapy

The client is given the possibility, by means of figures and the arrangement of the sand in the area bounded by the sandbox, to set up a world corresponding to his or her inner state. In this manner, through free, creative play, unconscious processes are made visible in a three-dimensional form and a pictorial world comparable to the dream experience. Through a series of images that take shape in this way, the process of individuation described by C. G. Jung is stimulated and brought to fruition. Gestalt therapy work will be demonstrated in the form of dialogue with the figures presented in the sand box.

How was sandplay discovered?

Children have always delighted in playing in the sand, bringing their inner and outer worlds together through imagination. Different cultures have also used sand in imaginal rituals of visioning. The Dogon medicine men of Mali draw patterns in the sand and later read the paw prints left in the night by the desert fox to divine the future. Tibetan Buddhist monks spend weeks creating the Kalachakra sand mandala, which is used for contemplation and initiation into Tantric practices. The Navaho sand painting ceremonies in which images of world order are created to invoke the healing powers that bring the psyche of the people back into harmony with the universe.

Who developed sandplay as therapy?

Dora Kalff was initially influenced by Emma and Carl Jung and her immersion in Tibetan Buddhism. She also studied with Lowenfeld in London for a year in 1956. When she returned to Zürich Kalff developed another way of using these materials therapeutically which she called "sandplay."C.G.Jung proposed that art can be used to alleviate or contain feelings of trauma, fear, or anxiety and also to repair, restore and heal. In his work with patients and in his own personal explorations, Jung wrote that art expression and images found in dreams could be helpful in recovering from trauma and emotional distress.

Archetypes and sandplay.

As the client chooses his or her figurines, we assume that the choice includes the aspects of self and shadow as described by C.G.Jung. According to Carl Jung, archetypes are innate universal psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic symbols or representations of unconscious experience emerge. For example: King, Queen, Mother, Innocent, Spirit, Trickster, Devil etc.

Objectives of sandply work

To be able to discover the unconscious element of a person and be able to express them consciously without the use of words.

This work is used to enhance creativity in therapy working with children, adolescents, couples and persons who may be less willing or able to communicate verbally.


Sandplay may open the person to re-experience pre-verbal and non-verbal states. Children understand (recognise) language before they can speak the language. An adult may have forgotten or never learned words for some inner experience. Yet they may recognise a figure intuitively without being able to recall why or what it is. That's why sandplay therapists sometimes say, "Let the figure pick you!"


The participants will have a sand tray and figurines to be able to work individually or in pairs.

All materials are included.

For mor information:

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